Matthew Skala mskala at
Mon Oct 12 22:46:14 CEST 1998

On Mon, 12 Oct 1998, Chris Wiegand wrote:
> mail client that doesn't support the inline pgp (the "ascii armor" mentioned at
> the top, I believe), and most support the PGP/Application if they support PGP

I think it's unfortunate that people (notably Werner) are deprecating
non-MIME "ASCII armour" format, because that attitude seems to limit GPG
to email.  Yes, MIME is probably the best thing to use for signing email
messages.  But I often use GPG or PGP to sign documents that aren't email
messages.  How about a contract or some other kind of legal notice?  I
often want to create a file with clear text and a signature in it, that
will be printable and be a single file and not particularly an email
message.  I could do a detached signature thing, but then I have two files
floating around that I have to keep together, in order to represent the
signed document that I see as a single object which should fit in a single
file.  Also, the detached signature isn't printable unless I ASCII-armour
it, which brings us full circle.

If you're forcing everyone to use MIME, it appears that what I have to do
is format my document as an email message with a MIME attachment.  This
seems non-optimal.  A MIME message doesn't look very good when read as a
text file with any kind of software that isn't a MIME user agent.  The
original PGP clear-signature format, despite its problems, is clearly
comprehensible when viewed without software that understands it.  It seems
to me that for this kind of non-email purpose, the PGP format is not
broken and does not need to be fixed with MIME. 

"Let me lose so beautifully     
 Let me lick the dew from the money tree           Matthew Skala
 Have the moms of the world all care about me        Ansuz BBS
 At suppertime"                        - Odds     (250) 472-3169

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